It has emerged that Aftab Alam, the Afghanistan fast bowler, was sent back home from the World Cup following allegations of serious misbehaviour with a female guest at the Southampton hotel the team was staying in.
At the time, the ICC had said that Alam was being sent back under "exceptional circumstances", but the Afghanistan Cricket Board later confirmed that it was for a "breach of ICC's disciplinary code of conduct". That, ESPNcricinfo understands, wasn't the only occasion when Alam ran into trouble during the tournament - he was removed by the security from a hospitality suite during the India-Pakistan game in Manchester too.
While pulling up Alam, the ACB also suspended team manager Naved Sayem, while asking the board's disciplinary committee to conduct a probe into the Alam hotel incident and submit its report within a week. Alam was suspended as soon as the ACB decided to remove him from the World Cup squad - made official on June 27.
The latest development came at the ACB's annual general meeting, held in Kabul, today. "The disciplinary committee has already been assigned to carry out the investigation in the Alam incident and asked to submit the report in a week," Atif Mashal, an ACB board member, told ESPNcricinfo.
Mashal said Sayem was found guilty of not reporting the incident "properly". "He was found to hide things from the ACB. That is why it was decided to suspend him and investigate. As for the player (Alam), we will formalise the sanction against him once the disciplinary committee submits its report."
It is understood that the ICC's anti-corruption unit (ACU) has concluded its investigation on Alam, finding him guilty of inappropriate behaviour, and has sent its report to the ACB to take action against the player.
Alam's last game in the World Cup was on June 22, against India, when Afghanistan fell short in their chase of India's 224 for 8 by 11 runs. He took a wicket and was then bowled for a duck. Incidentally, the team hotel where the alleged incident took place is inside Hampshire Bowl, where the Afghanistan squad was staying for their group matches against India and Bangladesh.
It is believed that the ACU got the Afghanistan squad to assemble at the team hotel in Southampton on June 23 morning, but Alam wasn't present. He wasn't in his room either, and it emerged that he was with a relative in London. Alam is understood to have returned later in the day, but Phil Simmons, Afghanistan's head coach, suspended him for two matches for not being present at the ACU meeting. Alam was told he could not even participate in the practice sessions for those games.
In the earlier game between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford, Alam turned up at the game unannounced and requested VIP access for himself and his friends. Using his player's accreditation pass, he made his way to one of the hospitality rooms and then refused to leave. When security was summoned, his friends left but Alam stayed. Eventually, however, security was called and he was removed.
Action against senior ACB officials too
In an unconnected development, two senior ACB officials - acting chief executive Asadullah Khan and Dawlat Ahmadzai, former chief selector - who were found guilty of separate offences, are also going to be investigated by a panel comprising three board members, Mashal confirmed, saying that a "serious" decision had been taken on that front too.
Asadullah has been charged with breaching the ACB constitution and policies on various decisions he took after taking charge recently. Ahmadzai was pulled up for taking controversial decisions in squad selection for the World Cup. Ahmadzai, who was shifted to the junior selection panel midway into the World Cup, took controversial decision to replace Ashgar Afghan as the ODI captain with Gulbadin Naib, while also removing Afghan from the leadership of the Test and T20I teams.
"A three-member committee comprising board members will conduct the investigation for the various breaches (by Asadullah and Ahmadzai)," Mashal said.